[Guide] Opening a bank account in Georgia

Virtually all real estate transactions are carried out with cash in Georgia. Also, in USD instead of the local currency. If you can provide source of money to the border officers (meaning that they catch you carrying it in the first place), you’ll be fine.

No, they’re not. Liberty Bank is the bank responsible for paying out pensions. So Georgians refer to it as “bank of pensioners” and I think it deserves that name. I don’t know the exact numbers, but fair share of their customer base are older citizens and it’s specifically tailored for them. Which becomes very obvious once you visit any of their branches, especially during pension payday (long lines of older citizens outside of every branch. As they’re aren’t tech-savvy enough to cash out their pension from ATM and prefer to cash it out using bank teller instead).

They do have a package comparable to TBC Status. It’s called Liberty Wealth. I’m sure English service would be a bit better there, but I wouldn’t bet on it. Their internet bank is a very obvious clone of TBC’s (and horribly executed as well).

TBC Internet Banking

Liberty Internet Banking:

Liberty Bank’s management (especially the Founder - Lado Gurgenidze) was really trying to bring the innovation into the country 7 or so years ago. Now, they have failed at most, but TransferWise is one of the things they introduced that did stick. I guess LB was the only bank willing to partner with TW at that point in time. Gurgenidze is also a Series A investor of TransferWise. So I’m sure they’ve got a good deal going on there.

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How to get it? Is anyone permitted to obtain it? Without an employer and company in Cambodia? Is it in 2019?

Last year I was told that that didn’t work that easy anymore

It’s available to anyone. You must however enter with a 30 days business visa and not a tourist visa.

Now my question: how do I get that 30-day business visa first?

  1. Liberty Bank in particular declined my application. Is this normal? Big deal?

  2. Which bank in Georgia offers a virtual internet banking card? Not a physical one. One that I can open and close and then one a new one again, and close a new one again… all via internet banking

TBC and BOG don’t.

Depending on your nationality, if you are allowed visa on arrival, you can do it as you arrive or you can apply at your home country

Georgia is cool but I would not bank there when Armenia is next door and has less fees.

Why not both?

Transferwise doesn’t support Armenian banks, for me that matters.

You are free to do both. Have you tried N26?

I didn’t because I’m not a resident of EU. The only country I could go to obtain N26 is Cypris. However, when I’m there, I’ll need to obtain a proof of my temporary address. As a tourist. That’ll be challenging, I’ve heard that in Cypris they all like cash and don’t like any kinds of documents and even an owner of a house/AirBnB will often refuse to issue any document to his guest. Right?

You don’t need to live in the EU, just check your passport requirement on their website and use a mail forwarding service in England for example. They will contact you via video call and look at you and your passport.

The debit card will then be forwarded to any country in the world you want

If you are looking for a simple bank account and don’t plan on depositing up to $10,000 you don’t need to get a business visa. Just use any good bank in Cambodia. Opening deposit will be between $10 - $500

Ok, thx

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Wait. The last time 1-2 banks in Cambodia didn’t open me an account on tourist 1-month tourist visa. They wanted at least 6-month visa if I remember correctly. Or 1-year one. That is, I’d have to obtain 1-year visa which is a business visa. Otherwise, what other type of visa can I obtain to be able to open an account?

Canadia bank requires your passport and a minimum of $10 to open an account while Cathay United Bank requires your passport, $500 on a current and $30 on a savings account. Neither ask for your visa or status.

I went there in July 2018. You?

I have not been there yet. Get my info from expats who live and work there

Sounds like I will have to try Cambodia on my next visit!
Do they offer accounts for foreign incorporated companies as well or is this just for individuals?

I don’t know, never asked but I don’t think it should be an issue

In Georgia a bank charges you 3% on every money withdrawal from an ATM when abroad.
For $1000 withdrawal I’d pay $30 of a commision! That’s a rip off, isn’t it?
Is there a way around?

Which bank in Georgia is better for withdrwals abroad?